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The Pulp Magazine Archive

Pulp magazines (often referred to as "the pulps"), also collectively known as pulp fiction, refers to inexpensive fiction magazines published from 1896 through the 1950s. The typical pulp magazine was seven inches wide by ten inches high, half an inch thick, and 128 pages long. Pulps were printed on cheap paper with ragged, untrimmed edges.

The name pulp comes from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. Magazines printed on better paper were called "glossies" or "slicks." In their first decades, they were most often priced at ten cents per magazine, while competing slicks were 25 cents apiece. Pulps were the successor to the penny dreadfuls, dime novels, and short fiction magazines of the 19th century. Although many respected writers wrote for pulps, the magazines are best remembered for their lurid and exploitative stories and sensational cover art. Modern superhero comic books are sometimes considered descendants of "hero pulps"; pulp magazines often featured illustrated novel-length stories of heroic characters, such as The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Phantom Detective.

The first "pulp" was Frank Munsey's revamped Argosy Magazine of 1896, about 135,000 words (192 pages) per issue on pulp paper with untrimmed edges and no illustrations, not even on the cover. While the steam-powered printing press had been in widespread use for some time, enabling the boom in dime novels, prior to Munsey, no one had combined cheap printing, cheap paper and cheap authors in a package that provided affordable entertainment to working-class people. In six years Argosy went from a few thousand copies per month to over half a million.

Street & Smith were next on the market. A dime novel and boys' weekly publisher, they saw Argosy's success, and in 1903 launched The Popular Magazine, billed as the "biggest magazine in the world" by virtue of being two pages longer than Argosy. Due to differences in page layout, the magazine had substantially less text than Argosy. The Popular Magazine introduced color covers to pulp publishing. The magazine began to take off when, in 1905, the publishers acquired the rights to serialize Ayesha, by H. Rider Haggard, a sequel to his popular novel She. Haggard's Lost World genre influenced several key pulp writers, including Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Talbot Mundy and Abraham Merritt. In 1907, the cover price rose to 15 cents and 30 pages were added to each issue; along with establishing a stable of authors for each magazine, this change proved successful and circulation began to approach that of Argosy. Street and Smith's next innovation was the introduction of specialized genre pulps, each magazine focusing on a genre such as detective stories, romance, etc.

At their peak of popularity in the 1920s and 1930s, the most successful pulps could sell up to one million copies per issue. The most successful pulp magazines were Argosy, Adventure, Blue Book and Short Stories described by some pulp historians as "The Big Four". Among the best-known other titles of this period were Amazing Stories, Black Mask, Dime Detective, Flying Aces, Horror Stories, Love Story Magazine, Marvel Tales, Oriental Stories, Planet Stories, Spicy Detective, Startling Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Unknown, Weird Tales and Western Story Magazine. Although pulp magazines were primarily a US phenomenon, there were also a number of British pulp magazines published between the Edwardian era and World War Two. Notable UK pulps included Pall Mall Magazine, The Novel Magazine, Cassell's Magazine, The Story-Teller, The Sovereign Magazine, Hutchinson's Adventure-Story and Hutchinson's Mystery-Story. The German fantasy magazine Der Orchideengarten had a similar format to American pulp magazines, in that it was printed on rough pulp paper and heavily illustrated.

The Second World War paper shortages had a serious impact on pulp production, starting a steady rise in costs and the decline of the pulps. Beginning with Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in 1941, pulp magazines began to switch to digest size; smaller, thicker magazines. In 1949, Street & Smith closed most of their pulp magazines in order to move upmarket and produce slicks.[8] The pulp format declined from rising expenses, but even more due to the heavy competition from comic books, television, and the paperback novel. In a more affluent post-war America, the price gap compared to slick magazines was far less significant. In the 1950s, Men's adventure magazines began to replace the pulp.

The 1957 liquidation of the American News Company, then the primary distributor of pulp magazines, has sometimes been taken as marking the end of the "pulp era"; by that date, many of the famous pulps of the previous generation, including Black Mask, The Shadow, Doc Savage, and Weird Tales, were defunct. Almost all of the few remaining pulp magazines are science fiction or mystery magazines now in formats similar to "digest size", such as Analog Science Fiction and Fact and Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. The format is still in use for some lengthy serials, like the German science fiction weekly Perry Rhodan.

Over the course of their evolution, there were a huge number of pulp magazine titles; Harry Steeger of Popular Publications claimed that his company alone had published over 300, and at their peak they were publishing 42 titles per month. Many titles of course survived only briefly. While the most popular titles were monthly, many were bimonthly and some were quarterly. The collapse of the pulp industry changed the landscape of publishing because pulps were the single largest sales outlet for short stories. Combined with the decrease in slick magazine fiction markets, writers attempting to support themselves by creating fiction switched to novels and book-length anthologies of shorter pieces.

Pulp covers were printed in color on higher-quality (slick) paper. They were famous for their half-dressed damsels in distress, usually awaiting a rescuing hero. Cover art played a major part in the marketing of pulp magazines. The early pulp magazines could boast covers by some distinguished American artists; The Popular Magazine had covers by N.C. Wyeth, and Edgar Franklin Wittmack contributed cover art to Argosy and Short Stories. Later, many artists specialized in creating covers mainly for the pulps; a number of the most successful cover artists became as popular as the authors featured on the interior pages. Among the most famous pulp artists were Walter Baumhofer, Earle K. Bergey, Margaret Brundage, Edd Cartier, Virgil Finlay, Earl Mayan, Frank R. Paul, Norman Saunders, Nick Eggenhofer, (who specialized in Western illustrations), Rudolph Belarski and Sidney Riesenberg. Covers were important enough to sales that sometimes they would be designed first; authors would then be shown the cover art and asked to write a story to match.

Later pulps began to feature interior illustrations, depicting elements of the stories. The drawings were printed in black ink on the same cream-colored paper used for the text, and had to use specific techniques to avoid blotting on the coarse texture of the cheap pulp. Thus, fine lines and heavy detail were usually not an option. Shading was by crosshatching or pointillism, and even that had to be limited and coarse. Usually the art was black lines on the paper's background, but Finlay and a few others did some work that was primarily white lines against large dark areas.

Another way pulps kept costs down was by paying authors less than other markets; thus many eminent authors started out in the pulps before they were successful enough to sell to better-paying markets, and similarly, well-known authors whose careers were slumping or who wanted a few quick dollars could bolster their income with sales to pulps. Additionally, some of the earlier pulps solicited stories from amateurs who were quite happy to see their words in print and could thus be paid token amounts. There were also career pulp writers, capable of turning out huge amounts of prose on a steady basis, often with the aid of dictation to stenographers, machines or typists. Before he became a novelist, Upton Sinclair was turning out at least 8,000 words per day seven days a week for the pulps, keeping two stenographers fully employed. Pulps would often have their authors use multiple pen names so that they could use multiple stories by the same person in one issue, or use a given author's stories in three or more successive issues, while still appearing to have varied content. One advantage pulps provided to authors was that they paid upon acceptance for material instead of on publication; since a story might be accepted months or even years before publication, to a working writer this was a crucial difference in cash flow.

Some pulp editors became known for cultivating good fiction and interesting features in their magazines. Preeminent pulp magazine editors included Arthur Sullivant Hoffman (Adventure), Robert H. Davis (All-Story Weekly), Harry E. Maule (Short Stories) Donald Kennicott (Blue Book), Joseph T. Shaw (Black Mask), Farnsworth Wright (Weird Tales, Oriental Stories), John W. Campbell (Astounding Science Fiction,Unknown) and Daisy Bacon (Love Story Magazine, Detective Story Magazine).

Description of this collection from Wikipedia.

Many issues of this collection come from a variety of anonymous contributors, as well as sites such as The Pulp Magazines Project and ThePulp.net.

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amazing stories
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Amazing Stories
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stories
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Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories Annual
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v08n04 (1933 07)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v38n07 (1964 07)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v37n06 (1963 06)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v08n08 (1933 12)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v08n02 (1933 05)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v10n10 (1936 06)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v09n10 (1935 02)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v65n05 (1991 01)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v69n01 (1994 Spring)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v26n12 (1952 12)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v24n10 (1950 10)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v48n03 (1974 10)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v44n05 (1971 01)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v61n03 (1986 09)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v61n04 (1986 11)
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Amazing Stories is an American science fiction magazine launched in April 1926 by Hugo Gernsback's Experimenter Publishing. It was the first magazine devoted solely to science fiction. Science fiction stories had made regular appearances in other magazines, including some published by Gernsback, but Amazing helped define and launch a new genre of pulp fiction. Amazing was published, with some interruptions, for almost eighty years, going through a half-dozen owners and many editors as it...
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v15n08 1941 08)
Topics: muddle, ship, gluge, uninhibited, hin, malone, stories, amazing, junior, amazing stories, tan...
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v56n04 (1983 01)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v61n06 (1987 03)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v26n01 (1952 01)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v01n03 (1926 06)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v10n13 (1936 12)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v07n04 (1932 07)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v07n02 1932 05
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v03n04 1928 07
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v01n02 (1926 05)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v10n08 (1936 02)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v07n12 (1933 03)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v10n12 (1936 10)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v09n08 (1934 12)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v22n08 (1948 08)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v24n06 (1950 06)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v26n05 (1952 05)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v41n01 (1967 04)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v33n03 (1959 03)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v43n02 (1969 07)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v42n01 (1968 04)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v58n04 (1984 11)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v12n04 (1938 08)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v12n05 (1938 10)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v10n09 (1936 04)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v27n02 (1953 02)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v03n06 (1928 09)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v06n10 1932 01
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v42n03 (1968 09)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v40n07 (1966 08)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v61n05 (1987 01)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v65n06 (1991 03)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v66n07 (1991 11)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v09n05 (1934 09)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v11n01 (1937 02)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v06n07 (1931 10)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v11n05 (1937 10)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v07n10 (1933 01)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v08n03 (1933 06)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v68n07 (1993 10)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v68n06 (1993 09)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v13n10 (1939 10)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v22n04 (1948 04)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v30n03 (1956 03)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v37n09 (1963 09)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v39n01 (1965 01)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v48n01 (1974 06)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v49n05 (1976 03)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v45n01 (1971 05)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v51n01 (1977 10)
Amazing Stories For Childrens Pakurdufun.com
Topic: Amazing Stories For Childrens Pakurdufun.com
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v54n01 (1980 05)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v14n06 1940 06
Topics: allison, erick, chadwick, dazzalox, smitt, sands, monk, slave, eyes, amazing stories, clark erick,...
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v10n02 (1935 05)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v37n07 (1963 07)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v40n01 (1965 08)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v64n06 (1990 03)
Amazing Stories Magazine
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Amazing Stories v55n04 (1981 11)